14th June 2013
The FTSE 100 racked up another week of losses as international influences took their toll writes Philip Scott.
At the start of the week Japanese policymakers declined to up their stimulus measures, which in turn sent markets spinning, with the Footsie falling below the 6,300 level for the first time in almost two months on Tuesday.
All eyes will be on the Federal Reserve’s meeting next week as concern over the tapering back of stimulus measures dominates.
The FTSE 100 rose in early trading on Friday, driven by better-than-anticipated US retail sales numbers announced on Thursday. The US Commerce Department told the market that retail sales rose by 0.6% in May, the biggest jump in some three months. The news helped further smooth over fears in regards to the strength of the global economy, following a sell-off in Japan.
But while the UK’s benchmark index managed to climb on Friday, the momentum stalled in afternoon trading. The index finished the day up, albeit just, climbing 3.63 points or 0.06% to 6,308.26. Losses on the trading week were 2%. The past month’s volatility has now cost the top flight 6% – although it remains up by 15 % over 12 months.
The big news in the UK this week was the premature resignation of Royal Bank of Scotland boss, Stephen Hester. In a statement, to the London Stock Exchange, RBS says he was was unable to make an “open-ended commitment” to continuing as his position as chief executive, once the bank has returned back to the private sector. Over the past week, the bank’s share price loosened 3% to 316p though at one stage it was down more than 7%.
It was a week of losses for banks overall, with HSBC losing 4% to 680.1p, while Barclays was 3% lighter at 297.7p. Standard Chartered and Lloyds each shed 2% to close respectively at 1448.5p and 61.3p
The week’s steepest faller was water group Severn Trent after its takeover deal was jettisoned. A consortium, LongRiver, had made several offers, which were rejected, and the deadline has now passed. Over the week it is off by 15% to 1,760p.
An upbeat assessment on ITV, from analyst Liberium Capital, lifted the broadcaster’s share price by 6% to 136.8p, making it the week’s highest riser among the top 100 firms. Easyjet, another climber, up 5% to 1,252p, signed a deal to have more flights at Stansted in a bid to up passenger numbers from 2.8m to 6m over the next five years. Tullow Oil, celebrating its £200m win from Heritage Oil in a High Court ruling on a disputed Ugandan tax bill enjoyed a 4% lift to close at 1048p.